Theatre in Wales

Plays and dance productions in Wales since 1982...

A Kiss on the Bottom by Frank Vickery
First presented in 1991 by Sherman Theatre Company
cast size:5
The women on the cancer ward at the East Glamorgan hospital must cope, not only with the uncertainties of their health, but also the inevitable secrets and half-truths told by the staff and relatives. To keep them cheery Marlene devises activities to make her bedfellows' time in hospital somewhat more interesting than it would have been!

Director: Phil Clark Oct 91
Toured Swansea Grand

   There is 1 review of Sherman Theatre Company's A Kiss on the Bottom in our database:
Subtly thought provoking and unmistakably amusing
A Kiss on the Bottom by Frank Vickery
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New Theatre Cardiff
A devilishly humorous, profoundly poignant, and in all honesty an unexpected delight of a performance. My moderate caution towards this play cultivated into cynical nervousness as I took my seat in the New Theatre for Grassroots’ Production of A Kiss on The Bottom, surrounded by the more senior theatre goer and with an air of situation comedy wafting from the stage. However within ten fast comical minutes, any youthful theatrical snobbery was swiftly quashed as my frantic, deliberating mind was gratefully distracted.

Wales’s playwriting comic Kaiser Frank Vickery directs his own dramatic conception that is fit to burst with chirpy, cheeky chitchat, forcible friendships and stirring sentiment. An all female cast fertilize Vickery's lyrical soil, alighting a tale of the brash but endearing Marlene, confined to a hospital ward she shares with a variety of characters draped in social decadence. As time tediously ticks by the three main occupants share laughter and tears as the beauty of friendship and the sting of society’s attitude towards the elderly collide.

Di Botcher is outstanding as the gobby Marlene, overpowering everyone she meets like a tornado ripping through a house. A brash bird from the Valleys with a heart as big as her mouth, Marlene is possibly one of Vickery’s finest comical leads, using her side stitching humour to disguise her personal anxiety. For me Botcher is like a gorgeous Gucci dress that stands out from the crowd, subtly accessorized by her talented co-stars. This is by no means a criticism of the other performers who are all excellent, but Botcher portrays this domineering, brash character with such confidence and ease, at times it feels like a one woman show.

Both Sue Roderick and Jennifer Hill display the true beauty of experience in their portrayals of the equally tragic Lucy and Grace, whose age and illness weigh them down. Hill is elegant and accomplished as the dynamic Grace whose physical deterioration at the hands of cancer leaves her afraid to look in the mirror, as she clings to her past like a frightened child to its mother. Sue Roderick is endearing as the kind, lonely Lucy whose family show more concern for her house than her health, leaving her distant and afraid.

This production left me somewhat embarrassed of the empty pre-conceptions fluttering through my mind before the show. Subtly thought provoking and unmistakably amusing, like a kiss on the bottom itself, it brings a smile to the face!
Amy Stackhouse

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